The Boston Celtics (22-45, 8-24 away) visit the Dallas Mavericks (40-27, 21-10 home) on Monday night at the American Airlines Center. Here's what to watch for:
BREAKING UP THE SHUTOUT: The Celtics enter 0-14 versus Western Conference opponents on the road this season. This is their final chance to break up the shutout and it won't be easy. Rajon Rondo is expected to rest on the second night of a back-to-back and Boston is coming off a wild overtime loss in New Orleans. Vegas has the Mavericks as 10.5-point favorites.
MAVS HAVE MOTIVATION: The Mavericks enter as the seventh seed in the West, but own only a half-game lead over Memphis. Both teams are trying to fend off Phoenix, which is only a game out of the final playoff berth. The Mavericks have won two straight and four of their last five, including wins over some of the leagues top squads in Indiana and Oklahoma City Thunder.
LOOSE BALLS: This is the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams. Dallas posted a 102-91 triumph in Boston in February. ... With no Rondo, Avery Bradley is expected to vault back into the Celtics' starting lineup in his third game back from an ankle injury. ... The Celtics have lost four straight. ... Jeff Green matched his season high with 39 points in Sunday's loss to the Pelicans. Green's 12 field goals were twice as many as any other player on the team and Boston's four other starters combined for just 14 makes.